Thursday, March 31, 2011

Naked nails, oh my!

For the first time in weeks, my nails are naked. Well, sort of.

After weeks of constant polish, and of course the inevitable picking the nail polish off once it chips, my nails are in terrible shape. Every nail on my right hand broke or peeled, with my pointer finger down to the nub - seriously - no white tip at all. My left hand looks like its in decent shape, at least with nail polish on. But with the polish off you can see the peeling that my nails are so often sporting. Time for growing healthy nails.

Recently, I bought a Sally Hansen gel nail treatment, VitaSurge Strength Gel. I actually thought it was a strengthening topcoat, but it's really a gel treatment.


This is a new product from Sally Hansen, and I had a coupon so I thought I'd try it. The bottle says to use daily for 5 days. I'm currently on day 2, so I'll check back in 3 more days to see how my nails are holding up.

Even though the product is not opaque and you can see the applicator from the bottle, I was still a bit surprised at the doe-foot applicator.

Doe-foot applicator

It wasn't something I'd expect to see in a nail-polish shaped bottle. It is a gel treatment with little globules suspended in the blue gel. You simply rub the gel onto each nail with the applicator. When you're finished, you can use your fingers to get the rest of it rubbed in well. The formula has a very strong scent of roses, but very fake smelling roses, almost like Tea Rose perfume. I don't mind the smell, but it is strong and those with delicate olfactory nerves may want to take caution.

Little globules suspended in the blue gel

As it was drying, it left this very tacky, gooey residue on my fingers, and even when it is dry, you can still feel a layer of film on the nails. I'll still use this daily and see if it actually hardens my thin, week nails in 5 days. Somehow I'm doubting it, but I'm willing to try!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Deborah Lippmann Glitter In the Air

I make no bones about my love for Deborah Lippmann polishes. Each one that I have tried, I've loved. So, it would make sense that I would eventually purchase Glitter In the Air. This polish is a mix of tiny square and larger hex glitter in pink and blue suspended in a pale sky blue jelly. I've seen lots of mixed reviews on this polish, but Lippmann does glitter polishes right.

Now, I have to admit, this color alone wasn't that thrilling. It is VERY sheer, and it's a bit of work to get the glitter positioned properly as you'll end up with very thick coats. So, to fix this I used two coats of Hard Candy Sky (pale blue polish with a very subtle blue shimmer - so subtle that you can barely see it on the nail) and then two coats of GITA, very carefully placed on my nail to show off the glitter.

I liked the sparse look of the glitter over the opaque blue. Next time I may try it over a white, however, the Hard Candy Sky was such a pain to get smooth, that I may just save it to use under GITA.  I do like this manicure, and I have to say it lasted very well. I applied this on Saturday morning and today I'm just starting to get the slightest of tipwear. I think if you're looking for a subtle glitter manicure (does a subtle glitter manicure exist??) you can simply use two coats of GITA over a nice base coat and with a good topcoat. Another winner for Deborah Lippmann.

I never really liked the Pink song this is named after, but I do like Pink in general. She's from the Philly area (suburbs, actually) and actually has some fun songs. I just don't care for this one. She did one hell of a performance at the Grammies last year, though.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I do love a deal!

Up until now I've been resisting the Physician's Formula Happy Booster Blush. The hearts are cute, but I already have the Stila heart blush compact, so do I really need another one? Of course, the answer is yes. I have my doubts over whether a blush will better your mood, but the hearts are cute to look at. As I was in CVS the other day, I noticed that all Physician's Formula cosmetics were on sale for 40% off. Not only that, but their Happy Booster blushes had a $3.00 off sticker on them, and their bronzers all had a $4.00 off sticker on them. How do I pass that up? Well, actually, I don't.

Two compacts for $10.00, I'm sorry, you can't beat that! The Blush is Rose, and has various shades of pinky pink in it that all come together as a light, bright pink. It looks very cute in the pan. The compact is on the thick side, because the middle section with the pan flips up to reveal a brush and mirror. The brush itself will be good in a pinch, not the best, but it will transfer color if necessary.

I also picked up a bronzer. I currently have NARS Laguna, which I like, but I thought I'd try out another color. This one is Light Bronze, and, like the blush, had a series of bronze shades that will all come together in a nice color. This one also has the flip up pan to reveal a brush and mirror, and it's the same barely useful brush.

 Both look good on the back of my hand, and I really like how the bronzer looks on my face. The Rose blush, on the other hand, is a wee bit frosty, so I will have to use with caution as to not look like a 1980's holdback.

All-in-all, great deal for these items!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Dior Rock Your Nails swatches

Dior just came out with a new set of nail lacquers called the Rock Your Nails collection. Being that I love Dior's formula and adore their brushes, I knew I had to go for this collection. This collection has 5 new colors and a new Rock Coat, which is a shimmery deep top coat to give any nail color a smokey, shimmery change.

L-R: Blue Label, Nirvana, Purple Mix, Underground, Rock Coat

I grabbed 4 of the 5 new colors and the Rock Coat at Nordstrom. The 5th color was a dark gray, and, frankly, it just didn't jump out to me. Of the colors I bought, I swatched one color on each nail of my left hand. Then I went back and added a coat of Rock Coat. I have them side-by-side to see the difference.

Left: Blue Label plain, Right: Blue Label with Rock Coat

Blue Label is a very nice navy blue. The base color has the tiniest bit of micro shimmer in it - you have to look really hard to see it, but it's there. When it dries it does look like a deep blue creme. In fact, all of the colors have the subtle micro-shimmer but dry down to a creme finish - unless you look very closely. The Rock Coat on top of Blue Label made it ever so slightly darker and a bit more shimmery.

Left: messy Nirvana alone, Right: still very messy Nirvana with Rock Coat

Nirvana is a lovely turquoise creme again with the very subtle micro-shimmer. Nirvana looked the best with the Rock Coat, if you excuse the messy application (which was all my fault, not the fault of the polish. I wasn't working on a flat surface and just trying to get color on my nails). The color on its own is nice, but really, really benefits from the top coat.

Left: Purple Mix alone, Right: Purple Mix with Rock Coat

Purple Mix is.. well.. purple! I can't pass up a purple. Rock Coat make it look smoky and shimmery. I also really liked this pairing. I like the base color, as I think it would be a nice spring/summer color. Add the top coat and it just makes it look sultry.

Left: Underground alone, Right: Underground with Rock Coat

Underground is a dark brown. This one didn't change too much with the addition of Rock Coat. Don't let the pictures fool you, I had to get a bad angle to get the abundance of shimmer with the addition of Rock Coat. It didn't make the color much darker, because it was dark to begin with, but you can see the shimmer of the Rock Coat the best with this combination. All of the Dior polishes that I tried from this collection has the same great formula and brush. Nearly opaque in the first coat, and the second coat makes it look great.

Here's a picture of Rock Coat on bare nail to give you an idea of this interesting top coat:

Rock Coat alone

It's very sheer with a nice amount of shimmer. I would imagine that it wouldn't work too well on very light colors - it would just look muddy and streaky, but on shades like Nirvana and Purple Mix it works very well. I think, like the shatter top coats, this may be fun on day 2 or 3 of your manicure when you're beginning to bet bored with the color, add a top coat of this and you have a new, interesting manicure!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Saw this one coming

I knew it would only be a matter of time before I was putting the shatter on everything. I'll swatch one nail with a new color, or be at the end of a manicure and think, "hmmm... lets try the shatter over it".

A wee bit of a messy shatter application

My L8R G8R manicure was beginning to chip (I guess Orly Ridge Filler isn't that good of a base coat), so I put the shatter on top of it.

The shatter looks really cool over a holographic polish. To test that theory out even further, I tried it over three coats of Nicole by OPI - Make a Comet-ment - with is just pure holographic glitter in a clear base. The polish itself is really grainy, but looks good under the shatter.

The shatter was applied a bit thickly, so it didn't shatter as nicely, but still looks pretty cool.

I'll be sick of the shatters soon, I promise!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Manicure

I don't have a drop of Irish blood in me. My entire family is of Italian heritage, on all sides of my family. The dearest, on the other hand, is half Irish (and half Scottish, which makes the spitfire and spitfire 2.0 quite the mutt). So, being absolutely not Irish doesn't mean I can't wear my green! So, to be absolutely sure I won't forget tomorrow morning, I decided to give myself a St. Patrick's Day manicure.

I picked the color the way I pick nearly all my polish colors - I pulled out every green or greenish polish I had and let the spitfire pick. I gotta tell you, the boy has good taste! He was immediately drawn to China Glaze L8R G8R from the OMG collection. That's my boy!

Oh, boy, how I love this color. I love how the light dances off the very fine holographic glitter making the rainbow lines move all around. I tried to capture the different angles:

Click to enlarge

The formula itself isn't the best. It's very thin and dries *very* quickly. The first coat looks awful. It works best if you get a good amount on the brush and make as few strokes as possible, no more than 4, maybe 5 on the thumb. And do it fast. I used Orly Ridge Filler as a base and Seche Vite as a topcoat.

These holos are mesmerizing. I have to make it a point not to stare at my nails in direct sunlight as I'm driving!
Happy St. Patrick's Day - to the Irish and non-Irish alike!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I caved

I completely caved. I came home yesterday with this:

Yep, OPI black shatter. Last time I wrote about this, I was swaying back and forth on if I actually wanted it or not. Then I couldn't find it, which, oddly enough, just added to its appeal. Then the China Glaze crackles came out, and promptly sold out (not before I snagged a few colors, not black, though. More on that in another post). So, I gave up on any of the black shatter or crackle polishes as was was completely unwilling to pay eBay prices for them.

Well, yesterday I went to get my hair cut at the salon I go to. This salon also happens to sell OPI and Essie polishes. They don't have a huge display, just a few colors here and there. So when I went in yesterday, there was Black Shatter staring right at me. Considering I couldn't find it anywhere, it came home with me.

Deborah Lippmann Believe - indirect sunlight

I already had a very lovely color on my nails, which I had planned to do a whole post about. I used two coats of Deborah Lippmann's Believe - named after the Cher song. The polish, like the other Deborah Lippmanns I have, went on very nicely. And for such a light color, it was very opaque in 2 coats. It's a bit of a frosty/foily color, but didn't leave any brushstrokes at all. It actually makes a great base under the shatter polish.

OPI Black Shatter over Deborah Lippmann Believe

I have to admit, I'm still on the fence on the shatter! I do LOVE watching it crackle and shatter once painted on - it's quite fun. And even though I'm still not 100% sold on it, I have a feeling that I am going to be layering this on nearly every manicure I do. Sure, I'll give the color a few days, and before I take it of, do a shatter coat just to see.

I had a feeling I'd give in to the crackles. I'll probably use them quite often in the next few weeks, just to test colors, but I'm not sure of their staying power. Time shall tell!

Hope you all had a great weekend and didn't forget to change your clocks (for the US readers)!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencil

First off, thank you everyone for the very sweet comments and congrats on my last post. They all left a big smile on my face. This is an interesting (albeit surprising!) development in my life and I thank you all. :)

Ok, done with the squishy and back to the makeup!

I know everyone and their mother has reviewed the Urban Decay 24/7 Glide On Shadow Pencils, so I thought I would, too!

I didn't have high hopes for this. Yes, almost everyone blogging about them has absolutely loved them, but I was very apprehensive about this "no-crease formula". Everything I've ever tried that has said "no-crease" has creased within an hour. I will preface this to say I do have oily eyelids. That sounds like some sort of ailment, but it's true. Regular eyeshadow creases and slides off my eyelids so very fast. This is why Urban Decay's Primer Potion is a godsend for me. Complete Holy Grail product. I've already gone through 2 XL size UDPP (both times pulling out the plastic stopper and making sure to get every.last.drop from the genie tube) and I'm currently working on XL tube #3 and a regular size tube of Greed. So, I assumed I would also need UDPP for this as well.

I picked up the color Rehab. While I love color, I find that when I do my makeup in the morning, I tend to go for browns, taupes and other various neutrals. The purples and blues in this line looked fabulous, but I knew that I just wouldn't reach for them, so why spend the $20 on something I may or may not use? Rehab - a shimmery medium taupey brown, fit the bill perfectly.

The pencil is essentially a thicker 24/7 eyeliner pencil - it has that same soft, silky feel. Once I swiped it on, it blended very well, for about a minute or so. At that point, it dried down and any more blending began to remove product rather than blending. So you do need to work quickly to get it to how you like it.

I swatched it over both UDPP original and UDPP Greed. The Greed made it a bit more shimmery, but it really didn't need it as it was nice and shimmery on its own. I decided when I wore it, I would wear it without any primer to actually test these so-called no-creasing properties. I expected to see that tell-tale product line in the crease every time I looked in the mirror.

I did see creasing in this product - 11 hours later! I was checking almost every hour (hey, I'm pregnant, we have to hit the bathroom a whole lot in the beginning weeks!) and I didn't begin to see any creasing until about the 11 hour mark. I applied it at 8am, I noticed creasing at 7pm. By the time I took it off at 10pm, there was quite a bit of creasing, but I'll say this performed MUCH better than I ever expected!

When you only have 5 minutes in the morning - swipe some of this on with some mascara and blush and you're good to go for the day. I love this purchase - and may have to go back for a few more. Consider me converted!

(And, by the way - am I the only one singing Try to make me go to rehab and I say no, no, no??)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Birthday to me...

So, yes, today is my birthday. I turn the ripe old age of 36. I had a bit of a rough year last year, on several fronts, so there's no where to go but up.

Well, it did start off well. My mother, who knows me so very well, handed me a little gift bag tonight. Inside, I see this:

Oh, how lovely!

As I open the box, there is a sweet little patent leather bag


And inside that bag, three lovely Chanel nail polishes


The gift came with 3 great Chanel polishes.
Coromandel is an orangey-red with a subtle silver shimmer
Rouge Noir is legendary in all of it's vamp glory
Gold Lame is exactly how you would imagine gold lame.

I haven't even gotten the chance to swatch them yet. I was so excited over this little gift. However, this wasn't the only gift I've received recently. I've been a sporadic blogger this last month and a half. I looked over at my stats and it looks like I only posted 7 times in February! I wanted to say that I have a good excuse for being such a slacker. I've been absolutely exhausted. Like, falling-asleep-at-8:00-with-the-spitfire exhausted. The reason for this exhaustion?


It's Spitfire 2.0! Yep, come September, there will be 2 spitfires in this household! I'm finally coming out of the severely tired portion of pregnancy, so I'm hoping I can be up to blogging more. Heck, I haven't even had a proper manicure on my nails in about a week! Unfortunately, being 36, I now have to hear the "Advanced Maternal Age" spiel during all my doctor visits. Fun times.

I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend, I know I did!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

China Glaze Tronica

On my way to go pick up dinner tonight, I stopped into Sally's (which is conveniently on the way!) and finally, I saw the Tronica display. They did have all the colors there, but I settled on three. Here, I have two of them and their counterparts from the OMG collection to show the differences.

The colors in the Tronica collection, so far, exactly match the ones in the OMG collection. The only difference is the way the holographic glitter reflects. Tronica's holographic glitter is more of a very fine scattered holo while the holographic glitter in the OMG collection is a very fine linear holographic effect. While I don't own any of the Kaleidoscope collection from China Glaze, from what I have seen online it also seems more of a linear holographic effect, but the glitter pieces are more chunky than OMG.

So... on to the comparison shots!

First up is Virtual Violet. This one is a dark purple. I do have a weakness for this color. I love purple nail polishes. If you enlarge the picture, you can see that the holographic glitter doesn't make that delineated line that the OMGs make. It's scattered. I do like the effect, although I do like the linear holos a wee bit better. Here's the comparison shot with it's OMG counterpart - LOL:

I have the middle and pinky finger in LOL and the pointer and ring in VV. They are the same color, just how the glitter reflects is different. Here's a closeup:

The next color I tried is Hyper Haute.

It's a magenta polish, and again, you can see the scattered holographic glitter in this one. Here's how it compared to its OMG counterpart - QT:

Honestly, QT is one of the least linear of the OMG collection (GR8, the gold one, being the least),  but you can still see the difference. Here's a closeup:

In reference to the formula, it's typical China Glaze. It's thin, but not watery and goes on nice and opaque. All of the pictures you see here, Tronica and OMG, are all two coats with no base or top coat. I do love China Glaze's formula. It's easy to apply, not gloppy at all.

My suggestion - obviously if you're a collector, you're going to grab these. If you have all or most of the OMG collection, you can easily pass on this one. If you missed out on the OMG collection and don't feel like paying eBay prices, I say go for this collection. It is very nice, but you will not get that linear holographic effect. I bought these two because I wanted a comparison, and these were my favorite colors of the collection. I also bought the silver one because I don't have the OMG counterpart.

So, will you be indulging?
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